The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

George Alexopoulos MEng Mechanical Engineering / Mechatronics

Current student

George Alexopoulos's Photo

I chose to study at the University of Southampton as it’s one of the leading universities in the UK for Engineering and provides an environment that can facilitate my successful development as an engineer.

 

Why did you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

Southampton is one of the leading UK universities in Engineering. I chose to study here because of its reputation but also because it provides an environment that can facilitate my successful development as an engineer.

Why did you choose the Mechatronics pathway?

From an early age, I was always interested in knowing how things work and finding solutions to problems. Mechatronics is all around us and with the way technology is advancing, mechanical engineers need to know electronics and programming as they are often combined. It was during a project I did during my second year that I decided to follow the Mechatronics pathway. We had to build an autonomous robotic system to compete in the Eurobot competition. Through our hard work we secured a place at the European finals where we were, and are, the highest scoring team from the UK.

What has been the highlight of your time here so far?

One of my favourite experiences was the Hackathon I participated in this year at the university. Within 24 hours we had to develop a product which features IoT capabilities. We decided to create a bracelet to remotely monitor the health and state of elderly people. Our system was able to detect heart rate, temperature, and if the user falls. This information is then streamed via the internet for their hospital to monitor. It is really amazing to see how much you can achieve with good teamwork within a short period of time.

What do you enjoy most about living in Southampton?

The thing I enjoy the most in Southampton is that it is a quiet town but at the same time if you go to the city centre you can have a great night out. It has so many options for you to choose from.

What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?

The self-proposed Group Design Project that I am currently leading is the most enjoyable experience within the course so far. Our team is building a Mars Rover to compete in the University Rover Challenge in the US and UK. This is the first time a UK team will take part in the competition. Even though it’s a difficult project, it gives us the opportunity to apply our knowledge and skills from the previous years but to also develop ourselves.

Can you provide a summary of your individual project?

For my individual project, I designed and built a Photoplethysmographic sensor to non-invasively monitor heart rate. In simpler words, I created the same sensor that smartwatches use to monitor the user’s heart rate.

What are your lecturers and supervisors like? Have you found them supportive?

From my experience, lecturers are always happy to provide any support that students might seek. My supervisor has been very supportive but has also provided mentoring that has helped me develop not just as an engineer, but personally as well. If you are ambitious and hard working the faculty will always be happy to support you in your endeavours.

If you could offer prospective students one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would advise them to try to get involved in as many activities outside their lectures as they can but to also pursue a year in industry before they graduate.

Have you completed a placement within your course? If so, where did you complete your placement, and what did you learn from it?

I had the opportunity to work as an Applications Engineer for a year at National Instruments. On a daily basis, I had to provide customers with technical advice to ensure their success by finding solutions to their problems. I had the opportunity to deliver customer education courses in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Frazer Nash Consultants, the University of Southampton, and University College London. This developed not only my communication and interpersonal skills but also my leadership skills. Due to my good performance, I was asked to teach students at the University and give them the opportunity at the end to take the Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer exam. The pass rate was astonishing. More than 70% of students received this certification, which is much higher than other universities across the country.

 

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